Tiger Woods achieved another first in his long and illustrious career while in the Turkish city of Istanbul on Tuesday, becoming the first golfer to hit balls from east to west off the Bosphorus Bridge.
Woods, one of the most recognisable athletes on the planet, struck several shots from the iconic structure that connects Asia and Europe in front of international and local media.
“To be the first golfer to do this was very cool,” said the 14-time major championship winner and world number one, who headlines Turkey’s first ever European Tour event, the US $7million Turkish Airlines Open by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, this week.
“I have really enjoyed my visit to Istanbul. To see the Bosphorus for the first time was a very enjoyable and memorable experience.”
The 1,510-metre, gravity-anchored suspension bridge, which was closed on one side for 20 minutes while Woods played his shots, is located between the Asian shore of Beylerbeyi and European neighbourhood of Ortaköy. It is one of the most distinguishable landmarks in Istanbul, a vibrant city renowned for its rich history.
Ahmet Ali Ağaoğlu, President of the Turkish Golf Federation, said: “We are delighted Tiger took part in this historical event. The presence of arguably golf’s greatest ever player in Turkey is wonderful for the profile of the game in the country.”
Ömer Çelik, Minister of Turkey, said: “It was an honour to welcome Tiger to Istanbul. It demonstrates Turkey’s ability to attract and host the biggest names in world sport and we are certain he will enjoy his week.”
The Turkish Airlines Open by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism forms part of the European Tour’s inaugural Final Series and is the penultimate event on the 2013 Race to Dubai. It features 78 of the game’s best players and gets under way at the Montgomerie Maxx Royal in Belek, Antalya, on Thursday.